This article was originally published on GoErie.com on August 17, 2017
The prosecution rested its case Thursday after jurors in Montrice M. Bolden’s trial heard testimony from hospital staff who said Bolden told them he’d “swung at an officer” and wanted to be shot.
Three employees of UPMC Hamot and an Erie police officer testified Thursday morning about comments they said Bolden made when he was hospitalized after his June 27, 2016 arrest, which sparked a federal civil rights probe the following month.
Bolden, 42, is accused of assaulting two officers and grabbing at an officer’s weapon during the arrest, which took place near TJ’s Traffic Jam, at East 12th and Wayne streets, and was captured on surveillance video.
Erie police Officer Anastacia Stewart, who guarded Bolden after he was taken to UPMC Hamot following the arrest, testified that Bolden became emotional at the hospital and said he’d had a bad day and went for an officer’s gun because he wanted someone to shoot him.
Hospital employees also testified that Bolden had made similar statements. A triage nurse wrote in her intake report that Bolden told her “I swung at an officer and now I am here.” A physician assistant testified that Bolden told her that he “shouldn’t have taken the gun” when she asked him what had happened.
And another nurse said Bolden told her that he “was hoping to die” on the night of the arrest, and that he “wanted the police officer to shoot me.”
Erie police officer Steven DeLuca testified previously that he felt a “violent tugging” at his utility belt during Bolden’s arrest, and that he later realized the magazine of his sidearm had fallen onto the ground.
The defense focused on the injuries Bolden suffered during the arrest, including significant bruising and swelling. Bolden was unable to open his right eye, and his family members have said that he suffered facial fractures and a concussion as a result of the arrest.
Stewart said Bolden’s injuries were “difficult to look at.”
“It was intense,” Stewart said. “His face was very badly bruised.”
One of Bolden’s lawyers, Thomas Fitzpatrick, said during his opening statement Tuesday that the officers involved in Bolden’s arrest were “going to lie” during their testimony, and that they had a motive to do so because of the injuries Bolden suffered during his arrest.
Bolden is also represented by Kevin Mincey, who said late Thursday morning that the defense wished to meet with Bolden to decide if he will testify.
The trial will continue Thursday afternoon in the courtroom of Erie County Judge John Garhart.
Madeleine O’Neill can be reached at 870-1728 or by email. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNoneill.